SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - State officials are looking for ways to increase the number of female prison guards in Illinois.
The (Decatur) Herald-Review reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/yUWEjs) that the Illinois Department of Corrections wants to boost female and minority recruitment within the department.
Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano says female guards are critical at both male and female prisons.
The state operates all-female prisons in Lincoln, Decatur and Dwight.
The announcement comes after a recent report by the Chicago-based John Howard Association on the Dwight Correctional Center. The watchdog group said that it received reports of inappropriate behavior from male correctional officers at the all-female prison.
The watchdog group’s report alleges that “inmates expressed distress over lack of privacy.”
Corrections officials say the ratio of male to female guards throughout Illinois’ prison system is 5.4 males to 1 female.
(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)